Durbin Statement On Trump Order To Continue 'Zero Tolerance' & Detain Children Indefinitely

Durbin: instead of reversing his child separation policy, Trump has stripped basic protections from children of parents seeking asylum at the U.S. border

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after President Trump signed a new executive order attempting to overturn the Flores Settlement, a 1997 court order that set minimum standards for the detention, housing, and release of non-citizen children who are detained by the U.S. government, and requires the government to pursue a general policy of releasing children. Repealing the Flores Settlement was a key component of President Trump’s own immigration legislation, which was rejected by the Senate 39-60 in February. 

Make no mistake: the President is doubling down on his ‘zero tolerance’ policy. His new Executive Order criminalizes asylum-seekers and seeks to indefinitely detain their children. Locking up whole families is no solution at all—the Trump Administration must reverse its policy of prosecuting vulnerable people fleeing three of the most dangerous countries on earth, who are attempting to seek safe haven in America. The Flores settlement prohibits the indefinite detention of children—even with their families—and any order to undermine this critical protection will be immediately challenged in court.

President Trump and his enablers in Congress have taken these children hostage to try to enact their anti-immigrant agenda into law. Don’t be fooled: this crisis does not need a bill to fix it—it requires Republican members of Congress to stand up and call for an end to this monstrous Trump Administration policy.